Monday, August 30, 2010

Cookie #68 - West Virginia Apple Butter Rolls

My very first trip to West Virginia was 5 years ago, when my husband (then boyfriend) took me to Canaan Valley to ski and meet his father.  I was so nervous, I remember begging him to take me back home, promising him Thai food and nudity (a line from one of my favorite chick flicks, Bed of Roses). 
My nerves only escalated as I put on skis for the first time in fifteen years.  He and his sister tried their hardest to get me to go down the bunny slope, but I just couldn't do it.  I signed up for professional one-on-one lessons, but chickened out last minute.  I rested my skis outside the lodge and went into the ladies room and cried.  I cried because I couldn't put aside the fear and just do it.  I cried because I was afraid my boyfriend wouldn't want to date me anymore because I couldn't ski.  It was something that he loved to do and I couldn't be an active part of it.  I dried my tears and spent the remainder of the day drinking Bud Light and listening to Bon Jovi in the ski lodge.  Needless to say, my lack of ski skills didn't matter after all. 

West Virginia's state fruit is the golden delicious apple. Rather than just use apples in the recipe, I chose to use apple butter.  According to my mother-in-law and other West Virginians apple butter is commonly found at many WV fairs.  For this recipe, I utilized my mother's recipe for rugulah.  I added some apple pie spices to the dough and rolled it up apple butter and walnuts inside.  The result - delish!  Dare I say, better than my mom's rugulah!

West Virginia Apple Butter Rugulah

1/2 cup butter
4 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup apple butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth.  Sift together flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.  Add to butter mixture all at once and beat until smooth.  Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead gently until smooth.  Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. 

After dough is chilled, remove one piece of dough and roll out between two pieces of well floured wax paper into a rectangle roughly 12 x 7", or about 1/8" thick.  Remove the top piece of wax paper and spread half the apple butter over the dough, leaving a 1/2" border along the edges.  Sprinkle half the walnuts over the dough and press lightly. 

Starting with the long edge of the rectangle closest to you, roll the dough away from you to form a roll.  Press the seam lightly.  Wrap the roll in the waxed paper and transfer to the fridge, seam side down.  Repeat process with remaining dough.  Chill for 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Remove chilled rolls from the fridge brush each roll with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Slice each roll into 1" pieces.  Place each slice onto parchment lined baking sheets about 1" apart.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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